Caring for your puppy's teeth
Good dental hygiene is an important part of your puppy's wellbeing. Daily brushing helps to prevent plaque build-up, which reduces your puppy's chances of developing dental problems as they grow older.
Dental Development in Dogs
By 3 to 4 weeks of age, your puppy's "baby" teeth (or temporary teeth) will start to come through. They have 28 milk teeth in total. Do not brush your puppy's baby teeth.
At around 3 or 4 months, the temporary teeth will start to loosen and fall out. Soon afterwards, they'll be replaced by permanent adult teeth. Give your puppy a teething toy to help massage sensitive gums while their adult teeth are coming in.
Important info: Puppies should lose their baby teeth before their adult teeth emerge. If your puppy's baby teeth are still in place when an adult tooth starts to show, contact your vet for advice.
Most adult dogs have 44 teeth (22 on the top and 22 on the bottom). It's important to look after your puppy's adult teeth from a young age, to help prevent dental problems as they get older.
Dental Problems: Know the Warning Signs
Check your puppy's teeth regularly – at least once a week – for common early warning signs of tooth problems or gum disease.
Signs of dental problems in dogs may include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet immediately.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Brushing your dog's teeth regularly goes a long way towards preventing dental problems. Once your puppy has their full set of adult teeth, ask your vet to recommend a pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste, as it can be dangerous or even deadly to pets.
How To Brush Your Puppy's Teeth
Here are some tips for caring for your puppy's teeth.
How to use the brush:
Brushing your puppy's teeth will get easier with practice, and it will become a simple routine task as your dog grows up.
In addition to brushing, your vet can recommend tooth-friendly foods and dental chews to keep your puppy's teeth and gums healthy. There are also specially formulated foods available for adult dogs, such as Hill's Science Plan Oral Care. These nutritious, large dry kibbles are designed to wipe the teeth clean, helping to keep your dog's teeth free from plaque.